As the clock ticks down to Dubai Expo 2020, we look at how the buzz is ramping up around job creation, increased tourism and key property developments that will sustain the economy long after the region’s moment in the limelight fades…
Believe it or not, there was a time in Dubai when the word ‘exposition’ didn’t factor into the everyday conversation. Its abbreviation to ‘expo’ was yet to be conceptualized and no-one had a clue what was to come with the announcement that Dubai was set to host the 2020 global event. Fast forward to now, a mere 8 months before the world’s spotlight shifts to the region, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t understand the magnitude of Dubai Expo 2020.
What is Dubai Expo 2020 & why should you care
In a nutshell, Dubai Expo 2020 is a celebration that brings together 190 participating countries to showcase innovation, share ideas, encourage further collaboration and celebrate human ingenuity. Each country will have its own pavilion to reflect its heritage and the UAE’s one will feature the outline of a falcon. So far, so intriguing, but what’s really interesting is how the UAE is leveraging the publicity from Dubai Expo 2020 to present the region to a captive audience of would-be investors.
The sheer scale of the operation and infrastructure being built at District 2020 to accommodate the six-month event is mind-boggling, and foreign investors are likely taking note as we inch ever closer to the kick-off date.
The impact of Dubai Expo 2020 on jobs and tourism
The expectation is that Dubai Expo 2020 will increase tourism to the region and give the hospitality industry a boost, but it isn’t the only sector that will become a benefactor of the Expo buzz; the jobs market is expected to be buoyed as well. A MEED report predicted more than 277,000 jobs will be created between 2013 and 2021, with around 40 percent of them in the travel and tourism sector. As we draw closer to the event, the need for more specialists and higher-paid positions in Construction, Technology, and Marketing will all increase. Couple this with the fact that some of the most innovative, creative and forward-thinking minds from around the globe will all relocate to Dubai for this period and the talent pool significantly shifts. It’s no coincidence that the new 5-Year visas and relaxed business regulations have been approved in time for Expo and directed towards these individuals. This all serves as part of a larger agenda by the government to make it easier for expats to call Dubai their home.
Think about this in terms of what it could mean for the property market as a result; an increased workforce with a sizable portion of specialists demanding higher wages, potentially establishing their own companies, and in turn, creating more job opportunities. All of this drives up the demand for residential and commercial property, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.
What this means for the property market
New projects in Dubai are up and even beyond Expo, there is a lot to get excited about, like the official opening of District 2020 and the 700,000 square feet of residential space that comes with it. This smart city of the future will feature a 5G connection that will no doubt prove appealing for the residential and commercial sectors alike. Siemens, the German conglomerate company, have already committed to making District 2020 their new global logistics headquarters, and if they can recognize the huge opportunity that this ‘smart hub’ offers, it’s only a matter of time before others follow suit.
It’s not just the large corporations that will gain from the new infrastructure either, as there are appealing residential projects in the works too. Dubai South, formerly known as Dubai World Central, houses some particularly attractive developments, including the Golf Links Luxury Villas, only a short walk away from the new 18-hole championship golf course, and the Urbana II & III developments that boast ‘tranquil park living’ all year round. The location of these developments should prove appealing too, as it strikes the perfect balance between quiet suburbia, yet you’re close to the heart of the action if you choose to be. The Expo site is a short drive away and Dubai Marina is only 15-20 minutes by car as well, so you get the best of both worlds. It’s clear that anticipation and excitement is mounting as off-plan sales pick up in popularity, and tensions start to ease, the attractive finance offers and innovative designs teasing out demand
As these Dubai projects head towards completion, additional supply is, boosting the economy and bringing in more expats to continue the momentum even after Dubai Expo 2020 has faded from view. It’s often the legacy of events that comes to define its overall success, and Dubai has put a lot of effort into expanding this impact beyond one exposition, with its new reforms and initiatives complementing the ambitions of property developers to fill homes. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement that Dubai Expo 2020 promises to bring, but we need to also keep our feet firmly on the ground when it comes to identifying and capitalizing on the opportunities available. Only then can we be sure that Expo lives up to its legacy for decades to come.